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To comply with amendments to the Clean Water Act, many small urban communities, including University Park, must take additional steps to protect waterway from polluted runoff to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the "maximum extent practicable."
The City has produced a Storm Water Management Plan outlining the measures it will develop and implement over the next five years. These steps include: methods to find and eliminate illicit discharges, modifying municipal operations that could lead to the discharge of pollutants, the enforcement of construction and post-construction site erosion and runoff controls and increasing public awareness.
View the Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP)
View the current Annual Report.
The term “storm water” refers to rainwater. Rainwater flows down storm drains and empties into creeks, streams, rivers and lakes. Unlike wastewater, it is untreated and can carry pollutants, sediments, trash, and pet waste directly to these waterways.
As storm water runoff travels over driveways, lawns, and sidewalks, it picks up a wide variety of chemicals, waste, and trash that are not naturally found in waterways. Storm water runoff enters the storm drain system through inlets and discharges untreated into creeks, streams, rivers and lakes. Local concerns include Turtle Creek and the ponds in Williams Park, Curtis Park and Caruth Park.
Some chemicals and other substances in storm water can be toxic, even at small levels. They endanger plants and animals that depend on the water to survive. Other items containing no chemicals like leaves and grass clippings decompose in our waterways and cause the same problems for fish and aquatic life. Soil, sand and minerals used in landscaping can also cloud waterways. Again, that inhibits underwater plant growth and depletes oxygen levels.
Storm water pollution can be controlled if everyone plays a part in preventing these substances from entering the storm drain inlets in the streets where they live and work.
You can help prevent storm water pollution by:
Lean how you can make a big difference on our local waterways.
These websites provide a wealth of additional information on this subject:
The storm water utility fee generates revenue to fund the City’s storm water management program. The program describes specific actions needed to manage storm water quality and quantity in the city. The City developed the storm water utility fee amount by applying specific rates to City zoning classifications. For example, all property parcels within zoning category SF-2 (Single Family 2) are billed $6.21, while parcels within SF-3 are charged $5.24 A more detailed description of the new utility fee is provided below in question-and-answer format.
That is the storm water utility fee, which was approved by the University Park City Council in December 2003. The fee is designed to raise money to pay for federal- and state-required improvements to the city’s storm water, meaning any water that goes down the storm drain and ultimately into Turtle Creek and the Trinity River.
“Impermeable” refers to hard surfaces, such as concrete or roofs, that do not allow water to permeate or infiltrate them. Impermeable surfaces result in runoff, meaning water that drains off a piece of property and goes elsewhere.
The storm water utility fee is based on an approximate amount of impermeable surface for properties of the same zoning classification. For residential parcels, separate rates were developed for each zoning classification. An average residential unit (in this case, Single Family 4 zoning) was used as the basis for the fees. The proposed rate was divided by the average impervious area of the parcels in this class to determine the rate per square foot of impervious area. The resulting cost per square foot was used to set the other rate classes. Residential rates are based upon specific classes of residential land use, and each class is billed its own flat rate. Nonresidential customers are billed based upon the maximum allowable impermeable area for that property under local development regulations.
The proposed residential rate structure is as follows. Duplex and multi-family properties will be billed on a per unit basis.
Nonresidential (i.e., commercial) properties are assessed $0.001177 per square foot of the maximum allowable impermeable area for their property.
A zoning map can be found by clicking here.
The City Council approved the fee after extensive review by the Public Works and Finance Advisory Committees, City staff, and engineering consultants. Articles in the City newsletter and a public hearing in December 2003 preceded final adoption by the Council.
The fee's revenue is used to implement the City’s storm water management program. The program includes storm water or drainage capital projects; operational costs, such as maintenance of storm sewers, ponds, and streams; and support for environmental compliance programs.
Before the fee, the City used general tax revenues to support its storm water efforts. This pulls money away from projects and programs in other departments. Like many other Texas communities, the City is required to comply with the Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) Phase II program for Municipal Separate Storm Systems (MS4s). Many north Texas cities have had a storm water utility fee in place for years.
The City can generate funds in a more equitable manner. The utility fee allows the City to levy a charge that is proportional to the cost of storm water service for that property. In contrast, with general taxes, each property owner pays the same percentage of their property tax rate to support the storm water program, regardless of the amount of runoff their property generates. Under this approach, some entities also benefit from storm water services but pay nothing.
Storm water management involves control of storm water quantity and quality. Storm water quantity management focuses on managing the volume or amount of storm water as well as the speed of runoff resulting from various storms. Storm water quality management focuses on the prevention of water pollution by requiring best management practices for various activities, including construction.
Municipalities and utility districts utilize best management practices, including development policies, capital projects to construct storm water sewers, ditches, and basins, and operational practices to ensure storm water management. The goals of these efforts are improved drainage, prevention of flood damage, and improved water quality.